Impending maple butchery

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Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:53 pm

I got this Japanese maple at the NC bonsai expo in Asheville last fall knowing it would be a project tree. As you can see in the pictures, there are large knobs in the top half of the trunk, and it is a bit too tall for my taste. However, I am hesitant to chop it, so I thought I would get some more opinions. Should I choose to shorten it, I will probably air layer the top of, because I would like a small knobby tree, but with the lower half of this tree and its design, it does not seem coherent or natural.



I thought about chopping it only a few inches down, but still, it will probably take longer for that large dead section on the back to heal than if I just chopped it at the 2 new shoots just below that.
In the first and last photo, that would be just after the first curve in the trunk. If I chose to cut it this year I will probably have to plant it in a wood box for a few years to grow. Additionally, you can see that the root buttress does not spread as nicely as it could on the back and right of the tree, so I think I need to correct this with a slight tilt to the right and a few grafts. I really hate to set a tree back 5+ years, but if it will be that much better in the long run, I want to do it. I want to get a lot of opinions before I pursue such a major change.

{I took the liberty of modifying your pics for ease of viewing. JQ -Moderator}


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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Marty Weiser on Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:47 am

I would chop below the large knob at about 80% of the height in the first picture. That leaves what looks like a sloped bar branch - the right one becomes a pad to balance the ones on the left below while the thin left one is the new apex. If there are similar branches below you could stand to chop a bit lower in my opinion.

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  MKBonsai on Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:29 am

It's always hard to get a full appreciation of things just from photos, but I would probably chop off the top bit at the first black line and air layer it in the red section. The air layered section may not be any good but worst case would be to stick it in the ground, fatten it up and sell it later on Ebay - or just leave it as a garden plant. I might look at making a raft style or something from it though as knobbly trees sometimes look good when laid on their side.

" />



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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  MKBonsai on Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:36 am

Sorry - the picture didn't come out the right size for some reason - I'll have to try again......

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  beer city snake on Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:09 pm

CARTER !!!
i am ashamed of you !!!

for a kid who can do all the things you do*, you cant get your pictures oriented straight ???

Razz Laughing Razz

my neck hurts now so i have nothing substantive to add beyond that !!! Wink
(said with jim lewis in mind, natch')

(* anyone with instagram should check out carter's feed... we need more youth like him in this country)

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Fri Apr 22, 2016 11:54 pm

beer city snake wrote:
my neck hurts now so i have nothing substantive to add beyond that !!! Wink
Turn your computer sideways. Very Happy
Of all the things I can do, computers have never been my strong suit.

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  beer city snake on Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:10 pm

Carterbeall wrote:
beer city snake wrote:
my neck hurts now so i have nothing substantive to add beyond that !!! Wink
Turn your computer sideways. Very Happy
Of all the things I can do, computers have never been my strong suit.

and for a youth of today, that is not a bad problem to have !

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:28 pm

MKBonsai wrote:It's always hard to get a full appreciation of things just from photos, but I would probably chop off the top bit at the first black line and air layer it in the red section. The air layered section may not be any good but worst case would be to stick it in the ground, fatten it up and sell it later on Ebay - or just leave it as a garden plant. I might look at making a raft style or something from it though as knobbly trees sometimes look good when laid on their side.

" />



JohnT - MKBonsai (UK)
So just below the big dead section on the back then? That is where I was thinking of cutting it and that's what it looks like in your drawing on the photo.

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  MKBonsai on Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:22 pm

I think so, yes,

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:38 pm

Ok I think I will do that then. One thing though, I noticed that the new leaves on some of the branches are misshapen with some black spots around the edges. should I be concerned? It seems a rather minor issue now but I just thought I would ask.

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  MKBonsai on Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:16 am

A picture of the spots etc would be very useful.

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:00 am


I noticed some holes in some leaves too but I don't see any insects that could have made them.

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:02 am

beer city snake wrote:
Carterbeall wrote:
beer city snake wrote:
my neck hurts now so i have nothing substantive to add beyond that !!! Wink
Turn your computer sideways. Very Happy
Of all the things I can do, computers have never been my strong suit.

and for a youth of today, that is not a bad problem to have !
yes- I can just bother my friends when the computer does not work!

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  MKBonsai on Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:06 am

I'm not sure what's causing your curling problem - I've not seen it before on a maple. I'd cut off the affected leaves and bin or burn them then, if it recurs, try a fungicide / peach leaf curl treatment and then a systemic insecticide if the fungicide didn't work. Maybe others might know the cause and a potential solution?

JT MKBonsai

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:39 pm

Ok I will try that. I suppose I will air layer it there then. Should I slip pot it into a wood box with coarse soil to grow out?

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  beer city snake on Fri Apr 29, 2016 2:39 pm

too much direct sun ?

i have learned to give my maples dappled sun (when we have sun Rolling Eyes )

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:36 pm

beer city snake wrote:too much direct sun ?

i have learned to give my maples dappled sun (when we have sun Rolling Eyes )
I keep them under a dogwood so that they only get direct Sun in the morning and they have water 2x a day when needed, so I don't think that's the problem.

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  MKBonsai on Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:30 pm

Slip potting into a wooden box probably isn't go go do a harm - I don't know if there is any downside to doing it when air layering - it's hard to think of a reason why it would be a negative.

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:49 pm

Ok- I will air layer it today and start building the box

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:51 pm

Carterbeall wrote:
beer city snake wrote:too much direct sun ?

i have learned to give my maples dappled sun (when we have sun Rolling Eyes )
I keep them under a dogwood so that they only get direct Sun in the morning and they have water 2x a day when needed, so I don't think that's the problem.
thinking again, when I came home they were in more sun than I realized, so I repositioned them in more shade. Will see if that helps

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  jgeanangel on Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:31 am

Hey Carter!  Glad to see you here!  In my garden those misshaped leaves are caused by sucking insects...typically aphids which love to find the early young growth on maples.  For me it is typically the second flush of growth in the spring that sees the damage...by the time you see the damage the aphids have long since moved on...the presence of ants is often an indicator of an aphid infection.  Typically a little safer soap will take care of the problem....sometimes it takes something stronger.  

This is a very old tree, 20 years or more in a bonsai container. I think getting it as strong and vigorous as possible is your best bet before doing any kind of work....slipping into a box would be fine but I may wait a year on the airlayer if you haven't started it yet.  Ken and I already spent a year getting those trees back to a state of reasonable health but it may take another year or so to really get to peak condition.

IF it were mine, I think I would forgo the airlayer and grow out some long shoots this year for some thread grafting next year.

Good Luck!
John

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:29 pm

jgeanangel wrote:Hey Carter!  Glad to see you here!  In my garden those misshaped leaves are caused by sucking insects...typically aphids which love to find the early young growth on maples.  For me it is typically the second flush of growth in the spring that sees the damage...by the time you see the damage the aphids have long since moved on...the presence of ants is often an indicator of an aphid infection.  Typically a little safer soap will take care of the problem....sometimes it takes something stronger.  

This is a very old tree, 20 years or more in a bonsai container. I think getting it as strong and vigorous as possible is your best bet before doing any kind of work....slipping into a box would be fine but I may wait a year on the airlayer if you haven't started it yet.  Ken and I already spent a year getting those trees back to a state of reasonable health but it may take another year or so to really get to peak condition.

IF it were mine, I think I would forgo the airlayer and grow out some long shoots this year for some thread grafting next year.

Good Luck!
John
Good to hear from you! I have not airlayered it yet; I will plant it in a box and work on treating the infestation this year and ensuring optimum health. I did not know that the tree is that old, but why not airlayer the top off? The top section is so knobby and the main feature of this tree is the root base. Where would I do the thread grafts? I do not see that it needs any new branches. Small buds are already popping up all over the trunk as well.

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Sun May 01, 2016 2:03 am

Is treated wood ok? I made the sides out of some osb off a shipping crate, but all I have on hand for slats for the bottom is treated wood.

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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  Carterbeall on Sun May 01, 2016 4:01 am

this is a drawing I did of the tree if it were to be cut where I mentioned before. The crown is shifted significantly to the left and the form is simplified with a broader wider crown. I am still not sure which way to go yet but I have a year to decide.


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Re: Impending maple butchery

Post  beer city snake on Sun May 01, 2016 3:49 pm

i think i would stay away from treated...
not as toxic as it used to be, but still wouldnt want to risk the health of such nice material...

but even untreated pine, like 1"x4"s should last a couplafew seasons (assuming adequate drainage)

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Re: Impending maple butchery

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